EDITOR’S NOTE: EACH TUESDAY MY GREEN SIDE BRINGS SIMPLE TIPS FOR GREEN LIVING TO THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAM. WE ALSO HIGHLIGHT A FAVORITE GREEN SITE EACH WEEK. YOU CAN STREAM THE SEGMENT AT APPROXIMATELY 1220PM (CENTRAL) EVERY TUESDAY AT WDAY.COM OR, IF YOU’RE IN NORTH DAKOTA OR WESTERN MINNESOTA, LISTEN ON YOUR RADIO AT AM970 WDAY.
GREEN TIP: Let your voice be heard. Tell the FDA and Congress that we want to have our food properly labeled. We all have a right to know if our food has been genetically altered. Visit JustLabelIt.org to TAKE ACTION.
We’ve talked before at My Green Side about how and why to avoid genetically engineered (GE) food.
Read more about GMOs at http://www.responsibletechnology.org/gmo-basics/the-ge-process.
We talked about how the buildup surrounding GM agriculture was that these new crops would be of increased nutritional value and would increase productivity. They would be able to grow in the desert and feed the worlds hungry. This, however, is not the reality. The only advantage goes to the companies selling the seeds. If you want to read a great article on the topic, visit civileats.com and read the view of author and food advocate Anna Lappe.
According to the Institute of Responsible Technology, “the two main traits that have been added to date are herbicide tolerance and the ability of the plant to produce its own pesticide. These results have no health benefit, only economic benefit.”
Jeffrey M. Smith, author of Seeds of Deception and Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods and blogger at Huffington Post, writes “Unless we want to wait until more studies are done, risking allergies and immune dysfunction, infertility, infant mortality, or poorer health inherited by the next generation, we will have to opt out of the GM food experiment. Without required labels, it isn’t simple.” And currently the U.S. doesn’t require GM foods to have labeling describing them as being genetically modified.
Children are especially susceptible to the effects of GM foods.
Top Ten Genetically Engineered Food Crops from Healthy Child Healthy World
• Corn: Our number-one agricultural commodity. In 2000, 79.5 million acres of harvested cropland in the U.S. were corn, 25% of which was genetically engineered. This includes Bt and Roundup Ready corn varieties.
• Soy: The number-two U.S. agricultural commodity. Sixty percent of processed foods contain soy ingredients, and 82% of edible fats and oils consumed in the U.S. are soy-based. In 2000, 54% of the 74.5 million acres of soybeans grown in the U.S. was Roundup Ready soy.
• Potato: Currently, the only GE potato is a Burbank Russet variety, marketed under the name NewLeaf. This Bt-producing plant is lethal to the Colorado potato beetle – and possibly to beneficial insects.
• Tomato: The first GE tomato, the Flavr Savr, was introduced commercially in 1994, but flopped because it proved tasteless. Since then, other varieties, including a cherry tomato, have been genetically engineered to delay ripening and extend shelf life.
• Canola: Of the 15 million acres of canola grown in the U.S. and Canada annually, 35% is GE, mostly for herbicide-resistance.
• Cottonseed Oil: In 2000, 61% of the 15.5 million acres of cotton grown in the U.S. was genetically engineered. Every year, half a million tons of cottonseed oil makes its way into salad dressings, baked goods and snack foods. About 1.4 million tons of cottonseed meal is fed to livestock annually.
• Papaya: More than one third of Hawaiian papayas have been genetically engineered to withstand the papaya ringspot virus. Organic papaya growers in Hawaii worry that the pollen from GE papaya trees will contaminate their crops.
• Radicchio: Currently one variety of radicchio, called Seed Link, has been genetically engineered to be resistant to the herbicide glufosinate.
• Squash: Several varieties of summer squash have been genetically engineered to resist mosaic viruses. Some scientists are concerned that resistance to the virus may spread to weedy relatives, such as gourds, found in the U.S., creating invasive superweeds.
• Salmon: A company called Aqua Bounty has engineered a salmon with genes from two different fish species so that it grows much more quickly than non-GE salmon. The company now seeks FDA approval to market this fish for human consumption. Escaped into the environment, (which is inevitable on fish farms), the GE fish may be larger and more aggressive, eat more food, and mate more often, though their offspring are less fit to survive in the wild, raising the possibility of wild species extinction. Human health effects are also relatively unknown. Currently, research on transgenic strains of 35 fish species world-wide is underway.
Source: Healthy Child Healthy World
A New Concern – The “Frankenapple”
Organic Consumers Association recently wrote an article to inform the public about a new concern, the “Frankenapple.” “Thanks to the biotech industry’s relentless quest to control our food, McDonald’s, Burger King and even school cafeterias will soon be able to serve up apples that won’t turn brown when they’re sliced or bitten into. A new, almost entirely untested genetic modification technology, called RNA interference, or double strand RNA (dsRNA), is responsible for this new food miracle. Scientists warn that this genetic manipulation poses health risks, as the manipulated RNA gets into our digestive systems and bloodstreams. The biotech industry claims otherwise.
Like any non-organic apple, the new GMO Arctic® Apple will be drenched in toxic pesticide residues, untested by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and likely unlabeled. And of course these shiny new high-tech apples will cost less than a pesticide-free, nutrient-dense, old-fashioned organic apple that turns a little brown after you slice it up.
Unless we stop them, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will approve ‘Frankenapple’ this year.”
Read the complete article at http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_27376.cfm.
Download the Institute for Responsible Technology’s Non-GMO Shopping Guide to make sure you avoid foods made with genetically modified organisms.
My Green Side’s web pick of the week:
Just Label It . org
The Just Label It campaign was created to advocate for the labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods. We have a right to know if our food has been genetically engineered. And studies show that more than 90% of Americans support mandatory labeling of GE foods.
There are many reasons why Americans want labeling of genetically engineered foods. For some it is due to health, safety or environmental concerns. For others, it is due to religious considerations. Still others believe that the right to know is a core American value. Whatever the reason, the vast majority of Americans believe that we have the right to know.
The Just Label It site gives you a way to contact the FDA and Congress to let your voice be heard when it comes to GMOs it also has a blog which keeps consumers up to date on the latest GMO news.
Visit http://justlabelit.org/ to find out more.